Skip to main content

Good Friday in Paraguay

Our first Good Friday in Paraguay is distinctly engraved in my mind. The normally noisy "barrio" was completely silent and no one left their homes. There was not one motorcycle on the streets that day. I thought I had missed the rapture!

Traditionally, Paraguayans do not cook on Good Friday, so on Ash Wednesday and Maunday Thursday, they work hard grinding corn to make sopa paraguaya , prepare the pig, chicken or beef for the grill and most commonly, elaborate the chipá. Most Paraguayans observe a type of "fast" by only eating chipá in representation of the Passover, (since it contains no yeast). They are silent in respect of Christ's suffering and death on the cross and do not leave their homes. I have grown to really enjoy this reverent observance of Christ's sacrifice and we join in with the cultural festivities.

There are 70 wonderful variations of chipá, including meat or corn filled versions. Here's the recipe for chipá that I'll be making today:



2.2 lbs (1 kilo) of almidón (yucca flour)
2 sticks of butter
4 cups of grated cheese (preferably white or mild cheese)
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 T anis
1/2 T salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425 F. Mix all liquid ingredients together, and mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry mix to the liquid ingredients. Mix dough by hand until firm and roll into balls. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

How do you celebrate Easter? Do you observe Good Friday in any special way?

Comments

  1. I'll have to look for some yucca flour. Can you get it in the US? It would be fun to surprise people when we get there by already knowing how to make chipa! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I miss all the silence that surrounds good friday when I am not in Latin America, its such a restful time.

    I will miss the chipa too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am awaiting the silence. Venezuelan tend to be big, loud party people and Semana Santa is when everyone goes to the beach. This will be new for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's so quiet here today in Mexico!!! I thought maybe I just wasn't hearing things as well because I have an ear infection, but I think it really IS quiet! So unusual for this neighborhood...the chipa looks great!!! Wish I could try one...we recently sampled some sweet tamales here in Mexico and they add anis, too. Probably nothing like the chipa, but it reminded me of those...

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Christmas in Paraguay!

If you're wondering what Paraguayans do at Christmastime, they have some great traditions, including the "noche buena" meal on Christmas Eve at midnight.  They eat lots chipa guasu (a type of corn casserole, stay tuned for a recipe), asado or grilled meat (some eat it cold), salads, especially fruit salad, watermelon and drink mucho terere.


Families travel from all over the country, many even return from working in other countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Spain, to celebrate with loved ones. This is us at last year's Kurrle celebration in Asuncion. Festivities are anything but a silent night with fireworks, loud music and drinking cidra (hard cider). 



Most Paraguayans do not decorate Christmas trees (we decorate ours in shorts!) or emphasize Santa Claus.  Instead, they put beautiful nativities "pesebres" in their yards and in store fronts.  Kind of novel to focus on Christ at Christmas, isn't it!


To beat the heat, many Paraguayans go to a river to rel…

The Genesis of my story in Paraguay: Part 2

In Part 1, I shared how my first move to Paraguay was at age 5. At that time I was a minor, following my parents around. But my second move to Paraguay was at age 25 when after college, I—or better said, we—decided to move back to Paraguay. This time, the Genesis was a letter inviting us to help pioneer a new radio station there.


At the time I had just gotten married to my college sweetheart Julie. We were both enrolled in seminary, enjoying just being married and going to school. Among our hobbies at the time was traveling the U.S. and to any country that we had the funds to go to. During those days, we began running seriously and trained for our first marathons and adventure race. Our first marathon was the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julie and I finished together in what I thought was a pretty good time of 4 hours, 12 minutes.


One day, a letter in our mailbox got us thinking about plans beyond graduation. The letter was from Walter Franz, inviting us to help establis…

Paraguayan Weddings

On Valentine’s Day, we had the joy of attending the wedding of Sandra and Anastacio, young leaders in the church. Sandra is my assistant with Children of Promise and Anastacio, apart from his carpentry job, has a popular youth-focused radio program every night at 8:00 on our station.

We’ve been to quite a few weddings, and these are some of the uniquenesses of southern Paraguayan wedding celebrations from our North American culture:

1. Nothing is fancy. Emphasis is placed on the act of marriage and not on the decorations or food.
2. It is not an expectation that parents help pay for expenses. Most families just make it each month with regular expenses and cannot afford to pay for eleborate feasts. Most couples have to spend months saving for their own wedding.
3. Borrow as much as possible. Many times wedding dresses are borrowed 5-10 times, because few women can afford their own. Flowers, decorations, shoes and ties (Norb loans out his ties often...since he never wears them!) are …